An Interview with Mark Dal Porto: Peace, Nature and Renewal

Mar 28, 2019 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

1) Mark, I understand that you have just released a new album. When did you start writing the music and when was it recorded?

The music selected for this album was written at different times of my life ranging from the years 2001–2018. The works were also recorded at different times with the first recorded in 2013 and the last in 2018. The two orchestral pieces were recorded in the Czech Republic, and the rest in the United States. One of the two chamber works, Romance, features my wife Tracy on oboe and myself at the piano.

2) I have to compliment you on the title: Peace, Nature and Renewal…..What brought about this title and does the music reflect this theme?

All the works on this album connect with the title. Beginning with ultimate sadness and nostalgia in the first piece Song of Eternity for Orchestra, it then progresses to finding solace, comfort, and joy in nature in the choral pieces I Seek Rest for My Lonely Heart and Spring, the Sweet Spring, love in Romance for Oboe and Piano as well as the choral work When Your Song Rang Out to Me, humor in Exotic Animals Suite for woodwind quintet, and finally, triumph and ecstasy in Mystic Mountain for Orchestra.

3) Can we talk about the process of composing and writing music- what is it like for you?

I usually think about what it is I’m trying to accomplish musically. Questions I frequently ask myself before writing are: What is the atmosphere, setting, or mood I’m trying to create? If I have a text I’m setting, what emotions are present in the words that I need to translate into music? What can I do musically to evoke the feelings and emotions I’m looking for? What musical landscape am I trying to paint? All of this translates into a need for inspiration, imagination, and a solid compositional technique. 

For me, the music must sound like it’s naturally unfolding, and this can only be achieved by knowing where it’s been and where it needs to go. It must contain its own inner motivation, an incentive to keep driving towards something that sounds inevitable leading finally to an ultimate goal or climax of the entire composition, all of which can help create a deeper sense of definitive meaning for the listener.

4) Many people find peace in nature- did you spend time in the outdoors contemplating the trees, the grass the sun, the clouds? I am sure you were not looking in your refrigerator composing this music?

I have spent time in the outdoors in many different places, both in this country and overseas which certainly can give one more imaginative ideas, thoughts, and inspiration. I also found myself imagining and visualizing such settings in my mind when writing much of the music found on this album.

5) Mark, when we were kids, we used to buy 45 and 33 rpm records. How has the recording process changed and how is your record or tape now available?

It’s of course available now in the current technology of our day, digital format. It is available for online purchase as a CD at Amazon.com or can be bought as a download via iTunes, Spotify, Arkivmusic, and other online media libraries.

6) Who exactly is promoting or publishing your record- and tell us about a few pieces?

PARMA Recordings, in North Hampton, NH, is the company who produced, published, and created a thorough promotional package for this album. The PARMA production team and I were in constant contact regarding all stages of its creation. Regarding the pieces on this compilation, there are two orchestral works (Song of Eternity and Mystic Mountain), three choral pieces (I Seek Rest for My Lonely HeartWhen Your Song Rang Out to Me, and Spring the Sweet Spring), and two chamber works, one of which is for woodwind quintet (Exotic Animals Suite), and the other for oboe and piano (Romance) which features my wife Tracy on oboe and myself at the piano.

Complete program notes for all of these pieces can be found here: http://navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6220/notes—lyrics—peace%2c-nature—renewal—mark-dal-porto.html

7) What have I neglected to ask?

I would just like to conclude by saying that I hope this album evokes feelings, thoughts, and memories that transports each listener to their own unique and special place.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.